If you’re trying to pitch a certain reporter or columnist, learn all you can about the kinds of stories they write. But how can you do that if you don’t know where to look?
Easy. Go to Google Alerts and type in the reporter’s name, then wait for Google to feed you a list of articles the reporter has written. From that list, you also might learn:
—The reporter blogs. Read the blog, post comments to it, then watch how quickly the reporter pays attention to what you have to say.
—The reporter freelances for other publications. Once you know that, you can then pitch story ideas that would fit in well with those publications.
—The reporter has strong feelings about certain controversial issues. If you and the reporter don’t see eye to eye on a particular topic, you might want to think twice about pitching the idea. Forget what you’ve heard about “fair and balanced” reporting.
—The reporter writes articles that show up at newspaper or magazine websites but aren’t used in the printed versions.
Need more help forming valuable replationships with the media? See “Special Report #49: 17 Ways to Build Valuable Relationships with Media People.”